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Thrive In Place Blog

3 ways transitioning can harm seniors

In most continuing­ care retirement communities, there’s an expectation that as residents’ health and function deteriorate, they will “transition” — or move to a higher level of care such as assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care.

Transitioning, one of the trends in modern senior living, can benefit seniors in a number of ways:

● In assisted living, staff members are available to help with bathing, dressing, administering medications and other vital activities of daily living.

● In skilled nursing, a state­regulated staff of certified nursing assistants, registered nurses and other medical professionals attends to a variety of complex care needs.

However, transitioning also can have harmful effects for seniors who don’t receive proper support.

Separation from familiar surroundings

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Simply being in a different physical environment can prove traumatic and confusing for some seniors. Loved ones and staff can help ease the transition by bringing along valued personal items, like photos, military mementos, treasured keepsakes and even a favorite piece of furniture.

Perceived stigma

A study published earlier this year by the Gerontological Society of America found that residents living in communities where transitioning is required due to deteriorating health — such as in continuing­care retirement communities — experience feelings of being stigmatized. As a result, many hide their health problems and increasing needs.

Fostering a culture that encourages more independent residents to visit all levels of care frequently can help. Many communities are creating multi­level environments by placing unique dining destinations, spas and other amenities near their assisted living and skilled nursing residences.

Social isolation

Newly transitioned seniors often feel lonely and isolated from friends and loved ones.  Using a technology solution like IndependaTVeTM helps seniors stay connected through easy video chatting and the ability to virtually “attend” events like graduations, weddings and sporting events.

A senior who has moved to a new environment never needs to feel alone, since with IndependaTVe™, loved ones can check in and connect at any time.

Senior Woman Watching Widescreen TV At Home

Easing the transition for your residents

Transitioning is certainly among the prevalent trends in modern senior living, but it’s not easy. By implementing amenities that encourage residents from all levels of care to mingle and by using technologies like IndependaTVe™ to stave off feelings of isolation, you can make periods of transition easier for residents, their loved ones and your staff.



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  • Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!

    Kelly Miles, Director of Rec Therapy
  • You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!

    93 Year Old Independa User
  • I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.

    USA Properties
  • I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.

    USA Properties
  • I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.

    USA Properties
  • We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.

    Wellbridge at Brighton
  • My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!

    Kendal At Home
  • Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!

    USA Properties
  • When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!

    Wellbridge of Brighton
  • I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.

    Laura P.